Just like any kind of activity, there’s always going to be myths that you’re going to have to overcome. Make no mistake about it; if you believe in myths, chances are you’re not going to succeed as well as you hoped. Myths are toxic. Myths can really undermine your level of success.
Sadly, there is almost no field of human activity that is immune from this very negative power of myths. This is especially true when it comes to social media marketing. If you believe in certain ideas in social media marketing, you are bound to fail.
There are a lot of myths circulating around social media marketing. In fact, I’m almost hesitant to identify one as particularly harmful. However, I need to mention one particular myth because a lot of people simply allow themselves to engage in wishful thinking when they come across this myth. It seems so attractive and so seductive that it ends up robbing them of any cleared thinking that they need to truly map out an effective social media marketing strategy. It’s very easy for social media marketers to put all their eggs in one basket as far as this myth is concerned.
The myth that I’m talking about and the myth that I argue is one of the biggest and most harmful in all of social media marketing is the myth of viral content. Here are the reasons why I think it’s so dangerous:
You can’t depend on content to carry you through
Let’s just put on our thinking caps here for one second on a purely logical and rational level. If it only takes high quality and engaging content for your brand to truly penetrate all the social circles that you’re trying to penetrate on social media platforms and get you the kind of reach that you’re dreaming of, then you’re not going to be the only winner in town. You have to remember that almost all regional media agencies crank out high quality engaging content. This is well-researched; this is high level content that really placed the heartstrings of people that read this content.
Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction over 2 million pieces of content generated every single day managed to go viral. Even if we were to say that only 10% of those 2 million pieces of content is quality content, they don’t go viral. So it’s not just the quality of the content. There’s something else at play that explains why certain pieces of content develop a tremendous reach while others fall flat on their faces.
It’s the network not the content, stupid
It’s the network, stupid. It’s not the content. If it was the content, then all it takes is for you to spend a few extra dollars hiring the very best writers to crank out viral content all day.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, what does work is when you get high quality content in front of the right eyeballs. If you get influential people in your niche to pay attention to your content, then your content has a high chance of actually going viral. It’s all about the network of the people sharing your content.
You have to remember that there are two types of people. There are people who are hubs meaning they are connected to a wide number of people. What they say often goes. They have a huge net of influence. There are also people that are called dead ends. These are people who just simply absorb contents. They don’t pass on these contents, they don’t recommend content. When they do recommend, few people are listening. Which would you rather target, one million dead-ends or a handful of hubs?
I hope the answer is hubs. Seriously, if you are serious about saving time, effort and energy, you need to focus on hubs. If you are serious about maximizing your ROI, you need to be strongly focused on Hubs. Hubs are the secret behind viral content. Content only goes viral because the right eyeballs made that content viral. With regardless of how awesome that content is, it simply would not to go viral if the right people aren’t pushing it. The good news is that you can reverse engineer viral content.
Timing is important
Another factor that plays a big role in whether a piece of content goes viral is timing.
When you pay attention to content that went viral, they often impact certain trends that people are paying attention to. This is not a coincidence. Whether people are feeling fearful or whether people are feeling a lot of emotions at the wake of some sort of news item that just broke, people are more likely to share certain types of content. Timing is crucial. What went viral at a certain point in time might not go viral if you do not try to spread it now.